I am still trying to get used to the new computer and internet stuff. My son is helping me, but I’m afraid I’m not a fast learner where computers are involved.
Oh well …
Last saturday we had a very short burst of precipitation. It feels a bit presumptuous to call it rain since there wasn’t enough to wet the ground under the big trees. The bulk of the “storm” front went to the north … Portland and Seattle had a good go. Regardless, it did clear the air and things smelled nice.
It broke the spell of dry and overly warm.
There have been some interesting side results of the weather. Several years ago, back when our springs and autumns were wet and winters snowy, I bought a slew of Dollar Tree umbrellas in plastic sleeves. I stashed them all over the place … beside each door, in the side pockets of the cars, in my carry-ons such as my radio purse, in my shopping bags, etc. I went to move one of them a couple of days ago and the plastic sleeve crumbled to small pieces in my hand. I didn’t try to open the umbrella. Guess I should. I may need to get some new ones.
Newest on the amateur radio front is that we recently received communication from the City of Mt Shasta about emergency planning. Years ago, George had put together a list of hams and their equipment available for communication in case the south county has road closures due to snow (such as we used to have every couple of years), a massive freeway accident incident, a wildfire, or even if the Mountain blows. The list he had provided was drastically outdated!
I spoke with the “Mt Shasta Police Department Dispatch Records Manager” to determine their needs. Turns out they just want to know approximately how many hams would be available and who to call in order to activate them. I guess news reports about hams being first on the air following a disaster, as well as on the air when cell phones are useless, has been noted and more people are acknowledging that cell phones are not the end-all solution. Folks who run the summer events learned that a few years ago.
I gave the city (and through them the entire south county) our current membership list with contact officers noted. At the next club meeting the club will be determining our role as a club and individual roles as well.
The smoke situation had been much the same until the “rain” … light haze most days. The smoke had been traveling north up Hwy 3 from Trinity County through Etna and then northeast along the Klamath River, so Happy Camp and Yreka were the ones in the unhealthy air zone.
A few months ago, when George was really out-of-commission, the batteries in our power bank were allowed to go dry. That is DEATH for batteries.
When we discovered why we were having trouble maintaining adequate power (this was before the creek began to go dry because of the extended time without rain), the batteries were filled again and plans made to replace the ruined ones (at over $120 each). I know little or nothing about the power system. I now know to check the batteries regularly and keep the water level up.
But it wasn’t as bad as we initially thought. George began researching and discovered that the new generation of batteries can be renewed from such a catastrophe. It is called something like “desulphating” and involves applying a heavy charge to the affected units thereby blasting the accumulated sulphur off the battery walls (but don’t quote me on that since I am not a battery mavin).
For about three weeks George has had the generator running several hours each day zapping the battery bank. That cost a pretty penny in gasoline but not near as much as replacing all those batteries would have cost.
We are now back in optimum working condition … with new awareness of the importance of water to our power situation.
George is being careful with his back … but yesterday he felt able to drop a leaning tree for firewood. I was out there, ostensibly to take pictures.
Dropping a tree is always exciting. I listen for the first creak which means wood fibers are breaking.
I did take pictures …
the first creak …
and down …
Spinzilla is just around the corner … midnight 4-5 October through midnight 11-12 October. Donna at the WebSters in Ashland is again sponsoring a team. It costs ten dollars to register, but this year Donna paid for twenty-five spinners so I’m not sure whether she wants to collect from us or is writing it off to public relations.
Last year, the Woolery gave a BIG discount to any Spinzilla spinner who bought fiber from them (I still have some carded Merino which I want to use to experiment with shaded dyeing). This year more retailers are doing something similar, including Donna. So I wouldn’t mind paying the ten dollars. I’d probably get more than that back in discounts and have enough fiber to hold me clear through winter and into summer.
It is more of that Blue-faced Leister with silk and bamboo from the Fiber Imp in Alberta, Canada. I have begun spinning it, but just a couple of ounces, in order to average the length I spin per ounce so I will have a handle on counting my yards spun during THE week. What I spin now won’t count toward my Spinzilla entry.
I have about a quarter pound and plan to get at least another half pound. Even if it doesn’t get used during Spinzilla, it won’t go to waste. I already have my eye on a shawl pattern for it. Maybe even an entry in next year’s county fair.
My total for Spinzilla last year was about 3.5 miles (6,192 yards). I’ll do better this year and I’ll do it all on my own … without working long hours (there was one spinner back east who averaged 12 hours a day) or having others do the scut work like wrapping yarn onto a niddy noddy to count length. Can you tell I was a bit miffed at the spinner in Blue Lake who had her children doing all the additional stuff, including preparing meals, so all she had to do was spin?
Oh well …
Last week, On PBS’ “Great Performances”, we watched the summer concert of the Weiner Philharmoniker (the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra). It was heavy this year with Scandinavian composers, mainly Grieg and Sibelius. It must be some anniversary or other … I don’t know what.
We enjoyed the hour and a half. But as I listened, my mind wandered a bit and left me with several things to ponder.
Much of the music was familiar and that made me think how lucky I was to be exposed to “classical” music so early in my life. I was young during WW II when most of the men, including musicians and composers, were in the service (back then there was a universal draft … not a collection of volunteers … so most everyone went). As a result, movie music leaned heavily on the old reliables. I heard Tchaikovsky and Chopin and Grieg and Rachmaninoff and Bizet and Rossini and deFalla and Brahms and Lehar and Mozart and Rimsky-Korsakoff and Verdi and the Strausses and so many others. I even had to take a music appreciation class my first semester at Cal.
I was blessed.
Young people nowadays would have to look hard for that music (unless they have elders who force it on them). Classical music radio stations have almost entirely disappeared, so what the young hear day to day is rap and hiphop and Gaga and Beiber and Cyrus and so many others whose names and music I don’t know because I don’t appreciate their offerings … not that all of it is worthless, but a lot of it is degrading and dis-ing (and alarmingly misogynistic). The young are missing so much.
Another thought was … when performing a concerto for a single instrument and orchestra, who makes the final decision about style and meter etc, … the soloist or the conductor? One piece on last friday’s program was Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor. The soloist was Rudoph Bukbinder. The conductor was Zubin Mehta. The pace was a bit different from the sound I carry in my head (it’s like when I hear Gershwin’s Rhapsody or the Concerto in F, I always compare it to the Oscar Levant recordings I played over and over and over and still love). and I wonder who decided … Bukbinder or Mehta?
Another thought (question?) … now that there are increasing numbers of women in the big orchestras, who decides how they dress for performance? In some orchestras they wear black formal dresses of any and all styles, in others their dresses are of a mix of colours. In the Weiner Philharmoniker, they were in black suits like the men, but with black shirts (blouses?) and without white ties. Interesting.
I didn’t miss a note, even though my thoughts shared space with the music.
And did I mention I was spinning?
Time for the thought for the week …
If you look for the light, you can find it.
If you look for the dark, that is all you will see.
’til next week …